And So Begins My New Life

Join me as I embark on a new life and new career in Funeral Services.

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Location: Southeast, United States

I'm a Funeral Services graduate embarking on a new career. I graduated high school in 1981, served honorably in the United States Navy from 1982-1986, been married since 1986, and have one son. I've relocated to a new state and have begun working in my chosen profession of Funeral Services, and I've never been happier.

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Working The Crematory

Yesterday I spent all day working the crematory. I cremated three bodies. It was hot hot hot. It's a dirty job and one I'm glad I don't have to do all day, every day. I would go nuts. One thing about me, I can't stand mindless repetition. Doing the same thing every day, with no variation or appreciable difference. I once worked an assembly line job for Hayes modems. Put out the packaging, drop in all accessories and documentation, insert product, close package, send through shrink wrap. Repeat 3 or 4 times daily. I lasted three months. One thing I love about my job, is it's never the same day twice. One day we can have a funeral, another day we'll be embalming, some days we have nothing going on, some days we'll be gone all day to the National Cemetery or a long-distance removal.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Back From Vacation

I have reluctantly returned from vacation. The family and I had a great time on our 5 day Bahamas cruise. I spent a good deal of time in the casino, but I'm happy to report that overall I did not lose nearly as much as I had planned. I would estimate that despite spending a lot of time at the blackjack tables, I emerged down by about $100. I had some good luck, and I had some bad, including a dealer who mistakenly collected my bet despite my winning hand. I immediately pointed this out, and he gave me my original bet back, but not my winnings. I called him on it, and he summoned the pit boss, who gave him permission to pay me. This happened on the last night of the cruise, and it put a damper on the evening. He dealt me a 20, a 10 and a face card. He was showing an Ace, and he turned over his hole card to reveal an eight. He then went around the table collecting the losing bets. None of the other players came to my defense, and in retrospect I began to question whether he had an eight and lost to my 20, or a 9, which would have made a push and made him right to return only my wager. Regardless, the casino has some of my money, so all in all I don't feel too bad. I may also be the first person to return from a cruise weighing less than when they departed. I lost 4 pounds, no doubt due to the increased physical activities (walking the ship, climbing up and down stairs) and sensible meals with limited snacking.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Takes A Day Off - Forever

Some of my previous posts reference a coworker that I nicknamed Takes A Day Off. This was because it seemed that every chance he got, this person was asking to leave early or take an extra day off altogether. He also had a habit of calling in sick, usually on a Friday or a Monday just before or after a weekend off, thereby giving himself a long weekend. One year he took an entire month off, supposedly due to an illness, although we never saw a doctor's note. This year he called out sick the first two weeks of January. About 3 and 1/2 weeks ago he took his two week vacation. After his vacation was over, we expected him to report back to work. The first day he was due back he calls in with the excuse that his mother's security alarm is going off and she's out of town and he has to go deal with it, and that he would be a couple of hours late. He never showed up. The next day, and every day since then, he's been a no call, no show. It's safe to say Takes A Day Off is no longer with us. I emailed him, but got no response. I've been watching his tweets, and he seems content to stay home, drink and play with his dogs. At least he's not leaving us short-handed.

Speaking of vacations, our cruise departs this Saturday! I'm very excited. I'm off Friday and will be spending the day tidying up the house and packing. I'll post some photos when I return.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Special Music

Today I was assigned to find three songs for a funeral tomorrow. One of them was a classic hymn, which every funeral home in America probably has on hand. The other two were more uncommon, and would probably not be found in a funeral home's music library. It got me to thinking, if families want special music, shouldn't it be their responsibility to find? One of the songs I was assigned has a very common title, and when I looked it up on Rhapsody, there were over 2000 songs listed. Many of them, I'm sure, were the same song covered by numerous artists; others were probably songs that have nothing in common except the name. So out of these 2000+ songs, I downloaded the one I thought was the appropriate one. I only hope when it's played it's the right one. If not, I will blame the family for giving us nothing but a title. No artist, no genre, no indication at all of exactly which song we were supposed to find.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

T Minus 10 Days And Counting

...and then I'm on vacation. The family and I are taking a 5 day cruise to the Bahamas. It will be our first vacation...real over 10 years. I'm so excited I can't stand it. I go to the cruise line website every day to see what else I can find. I've been practicing my casino games, and today I see they sometimes have trivia contests on these ships.

This vacation to me sums up the difference between my old life and my new one I've been documenting here these past 4 years. In my old life a 5 day cruise for three people would have been an impossible goal. Or if we could go at all, it would be with my son paying his own way, and limiting our shore excursions to a minimum. I'm thankful for my job, my schooling, my family and my employer. I hope I don't ever lose that sense of gratitude and appreciation for what I have now versus what I had (or didn't have) in my old life.